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Wayne Rooney rolls back the years with winner for Everton

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The 31-year-old made the perfect return for the Toffees.

Wayne Rooney marks his return to Everton with the opening goal against Stoke

Wayne Rooney’s first competitive goal back in blue inspired Everton to a 1-0 opening-weekend victory against Stoke.

After 13 record-breaking years at Manchester United, the 31-year-old made the ideal mark on his Premier League homecoming.

Rooney’s header late in the first half broke the deadlock and set Ronald Koeman’s Everton on course for three points at Goodison Park.

What they said

Tweet of the match

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Star man – Idrissa Gana Gueye

toke City's Joe Allen and Everton's Idrissa Gueye battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Goodison Park.
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

Rooney’s impressive Premier League return means the former Manchester United man will get the headlines, but it was hard to look beyond the livewire midfielder in Everton’s engine room for the star of the day. Quick on the ball and smart without it, Gueye played a key role as Ronald Koeman’s men won their opener.

Moment of the match

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Everton's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Premier League match at Goodison Park.
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

As a dull first half drifted towards half-time, excellent build-up play brought with it a moment to cherish for Rooney. The 31-year-old, making his Premier League return after 13 years away, met Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s cross with a header that sent Goodison Park wild.

Stat of the match

Rooney’s appearance was his first in the league for Everton since May 15, 2014 – no player has had a longer gap between Premier League appearances for the same club.

Player ratings

Who’s up next?

Everton v Hajduk Split (Europa League play-off first leg, Thursday August 17)

Stoke v Arsenal (Premier League, Saturday August 19)

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